Muskie Fishing with Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority

When people think of East Tennessee, muskie fishing probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Bass and catfish tend to garner most of the fishing attention around these parts. What many people around here don't realize is that there is a trophy muskie fishery right in our backyards. Melton Hill reservoir offers up some of the finest muskie fishing in the south.

Considered a fish of 10,000 casts, muskie can be an intimidating fish to target for those not familiar with their tendencies and behaviors. A good way to shorten the learning curve is to fish with someone who is experienced in catching them. I am fortunate to have become friends with Cory Allen who operates the Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority guide service. Cory is well respected muskie fisherman who has been a guest speaker at muskie trade shows and has been featured in countless articles including In-Fisherman magazine. Cory recently invited me to come do some muskie fishing with him and I jumped at the opportunity.

We started our day by mixing up tactics between casting and trolling. We threw a variety of baits and covered the entire water column from top to bottom in our search. The first part of the day was slow. I hooked up with a largemouth bass on a big double Colorado blade spinnerbait but that was the only action we had early on. Business picked up in the afternoon though.



Cory moved us to a creek channel where he said he had caught some fish before. When we got there, he took one look at the water color and said we are going to catch some fish here. The area we were fishing was only a few feet deep. Whopper ploppers in the 110 size was the bait of choice. We fished this creek for probably an hour without even getting a glimpse of a fish. Cory insisted we stay persistent though. He was confident there would be muskie there and he was correct. All of a sudden, the water erupted and a 39" muskie inhaled his bait. After quickly getting a measurement and safely releasing the fish, Cory cast his bait right back into the same area. Another muskie immediately attacked his bait. This one measured 36". Catching two muskies in one day would be a banner day for many fishermen. The fact Cory was able to get two on back to back casts made it even more incredible.



The day wasn't over though. We fished that area a little while longer before moving to another creek. Cory was determined to put me on a muskie. We made our way back into that creek while continuing to throw the whopper plopper. Cory had a muskie attack and miss his bait. He told me to throw mine right back in that same spot. He quickly grabbed the camera and started filming as I fished. As soon as my bait crossed over that spot, a 43" muskie smashed it and the fight was on. A couple minutes later, we had her in the net. This was the first muskie I had ever caught and since it was over 40", it qualified for a TARP (Tennessee Angler Recognition Program) award. That fish will definitely go down as one of my more memorable catches.  

All in all, I had an incredible day of fishing with Cory. He is one of the smartest fisherman I have ever met and we had a lot of fun out there. If you plan on being in the East Tennessee area and want to take advantage of this amazing muskie fishery, give Cory a call. Fishing with him will definitely give you a chance of hooking into a trophy size muskie. You can reach him at (931) 261-2483 or click here to go to the Tennessee Valley Muskie Authority website. Below is the video from the day's action.




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